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Credit List's late swoop in the Apr. 7 feature at Monticello Raceway earned him a third Open Trot win in four weeks.   With Justin Huckabone at the controls, the six-year-old gelding settled into the four-hole going through the first turn and continued in that spot through the :29.3 opening quarter. He went to the outside approaching the half in :58.1 and caught the cover of Cinnamon Stick (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) as they pursued longshot leader American JJ (Michael Miller).   Credit List forged to the three-path going by three-quarters in 1:27.3 as Cinnamon Stick began to stall and accelerated coming off the turn. Kabang (Michael Merton), who saved ground and went up the rail, briefly gained a stretch advantage. Credit List was brimming with late pace, though, and outkicked Kabang to win by half a length in 1:57.3.   Kabang was second, and Cinnamon Stick stayed on for show. The winner paid $3.   CREDIT LIST REPLAY     Credit List breaks the $150,000 earnings mark with the victory and improve his lifetime record to 15-for-103. Justin Huckabone also trains the son of Credit Winner for Jonathan Appelbaum of Yorktown Heights.   Monticello will be back with an extended 13-race card on Thursday, Apr. 8.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

YONKERS, N.Y. – The first time Justin Huckabone drove Winning Legends at Monticello Raceway Jan. 8, the trotter went wire-to-wire in a $5,500 overnight, drawing away by 6 1/2 lengths in 2:00.4. After another two straight harness racing victories at the Mighty M from posts seven and eight Jan. 15 and 22, respectively the 25-year-old driver was impressed. “He won three in a row and I called owner (Jonathan Appelbaum) after he won his first start and said, ‘wow, this horse is talented. This horse is real talented,” Huckabone recalled. “I was shoeing him and driving him for Austin Gilbert and I said, ‘man, this is a really nice horse, you guys got lucky here.’ ” After the COVID-19 shutdown hit, Winning Legends went on the shelf. By spring, Appelbaum was calling Huckabone asking him to train the trotter. Huckabone declined, ‘sour about training’ after serving a lengthy suspension for possession of hypodermic equipment in 2015. Finally, Appelbaum convinced Huckabone to take Winning Legends. Huckabone began working with Winning Legends June 4. With the 4-year-old Winning Mister gelding unraced and out of training since Feb. 12, Huckabone gave a 12-week timeline to qualify. “He hadn’t done much, he was really out of shape. This horse didn’t have a bad day for 12 weeks. Every single day, he was good and he just kept getting better,” Huckabone said. “He’s a great horse to be around. He’s really enjoyable. He’s always real friendly, always real personable,” Huckabone continued. “This horse has a personality, he knows when you’re talking to him, he’ll be really interactive to be around, really nice that way. “He’s kind of a high-strung horse and that’s probably his biggest limiting factor. If he ever learned to relax, he’d be even better than what he shows now,” Huckabone continued. “That’s his biggest limiting factor by far now is he gets excited. There’s nothing he really can’t do. He can out-leave the car if necessary. He’s got two really good moves. He’s got a wicked eighth off the car and if you sit him in and never use him, he’s got another wicked eighth right at the end. Very athletic, classy sort of horse.” Winning Legends qualified ahead of schedule at Pocono Downs Aug. 12, going wire-to-wire to win by 3 lengths in 1:57.2.  “I knew training down he was a killer, but I qualified him and said, ‘this thing is a real freak,’ ” Huckabone said. “I don’t know how anybody got him to go slow, but this horse is fast. He won his qualifier really handy. He won in 1:57.2, probably had 1:55 in the tank.” Winning Legends made his first pari-mutuel start back in a $10,000 overnight at Harrah’s Philadelphia Aug. 20. After riding in the three-hole, he won by a half-length, trotting a mile in 1:54.3. After a setback in his next start Aug. 27, in which Winning Legends went off stride, Huckabone made a rigging change and it has been smooth sailing ever since. “I took him to Chester, he got a great trip up the inside, he won in 1:54.3. It was a really good tightener and he rose to the occasion. If he had gotten a check, I would have been happy. He’s overachieved,” Huckabone said. “The next start, he made a break and I re-rigged him,” Huckabone explained. “He had a big laceration on his tongue from being hot. He wears a dog chain. So, I put a lip cord on him and ever since then, he’s been really good, really drivable.” Winning Legends has finished first or second in each of his last five starts, including a 1:53.2 lifetime mark at Pocono two back Oct. 10, in which he got a pocket trip before beating Broadway Athena by a neck. Winning Legends also jogged by 2 1/2 lengths at Harrah’s Philadelphia Sept. 17.  “The start that impressed me the most was when he won in 1:53.3 and I never breathed on him. I had the whip tucked the whole way and cut it at Chester and he won handy. Nobody even got near him,” Huckabone said. “He beat Broadway Athena at Pocono.  “I didn’t think he would get here. I thought training him down, he would get to this point, but I thought he would be a 5- or 6-year-old before he matured like that. He’s advanced rapidly. Every week he’s better. I don’t really expect anything from him. Whatever he does, he does. He’s done so well so quickly, he’s taken the pressure right off himself.” Winning Legends went to the Saratoga open handicap pace in his last start Oct. 19. Huckabone timed the gate and advanced from post seven, but looking to his left, saw four horses leaving to his inside. Trotting around the first turn, Huckabone went with plan “B” and took back to land a seat in fifth. Winning Legends didn’t stick to the pylons long, angling first-over from 5 lengths behind hitting the stretch the first time. By the third turn, Winning Legends applied pressure to leader Gruden, who was softened by a :27.3 first quarter. Around the final turn, Winning Legends turned the screws on Gruden, drawing even under a hand drive while the longtime leader was all-out. At the same time, Brett Crawford tipped Ronnie Goldstein three-wide off cover.  Winning Legends put a nose in front at the top of the stretch. Huckabone cracked the whip three times, but approaching the wire, looked to his right at the approaching Ronnie Goldstein and tucked the stick. Winning Legends held on by a nose in 1:56.2. “I knew I had (Gruden) put away going into the last turn. Brett Crawford was the one that I was really worried about and he was third-over, moved wide, got pulled right into the race, never had to use his horse,” Huckabone said. “I wasn’t going to abuse ‘Legends’ to hang on. I quit driving on him and let him finish up what he wanted to and he held on. He was really large that start. He was probably out for three turns out of four.” With Saratoga not carding an open trot Oct. 26, Huckabone entered Winning Legends in the $25,000 trotting feature at Yonkers Raceway Oct. 30. The 14-time winner and earner of $92,602 is 20-1 on the morning line as he steps up to face the likes of Melady’s Monet, Stormy Kromer, Muscle M Up, Cash Me Out, Nows The Moment, Mississippi Storm, and a familiar face in Broadway Athena, who upset this feature Oct. 23 at 12-1. “I saw Broadway Athena was in at Yonkers and the trip worked out for her and she won. There’s really no reason (Winning Legends) couldn’t have done the same thing. I figured I would give him a test and see what he’s made of,” Huckabone said. “The purses are going up and if he acts like he can go with them now, I’ll probably try bringing him regularly. If it seems like it’s too much for him to handle, I’ll probably wait on him until next year. I didn’t want to put him in against the real horses just yet, but it wouldn’t hurt to get a read on him. “Coming in here, these are way better horses than what he’s faced,” Huckabone continued. “He’s kind of in a compromised spot having the four hole. It looks like there are three leavers underneath him, probably somebody is going to press from the outside. They aren’t going to trot away from him at any point, that’s for sure, so it’s all going to depend on how the trip works out.” Although Winning Legends has been close to the pace in most of his starts for Huckabone, the trainer-driver isn’t looking to be as aggressive early in a spot like this. “What’s going to matter is whether the flow keeps going,” Huckabone said. “If the flow doesn’t keep going and you get away fourth, fifth on the rail, it’s going to be hard to make a big move for more than a half-mile on those horses. He’s not going to be able to handle that sort of trip, and there’s no passing lane. I’m just going to drive smart. If I drive him smart, I’m quite sure he can get a piece of it if it goes his way.” Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights through Dec. 22. First post time is 7:12 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Golden Gun (Justin Huckabone) shocked a field of six in Vernon Downs harness racing feature ($8,400) on Saturday night (June 3). Sassy Hanover (Claude Huckabone Jr) set the pace with fractions of :27, :56.4, 1:24.4. Golden Gun who is a 7 year-old Headmaster gelding followed in the pocket before taking over in the stretch winning in 1:52.1. Owned by The Wiz Kids Stable and trained by Misty Carey, Golden Gun paid $32.60 for the win. The big favorite Dude's The Man (Chris Lems) charged late to finish second. Sassy Hanover hung on for third. John MacDonald would add another four win night to his resume. MacDonald would take race three with Fox Valley Cadet ($2.60) in 1:54.1. In race number six he would guide All Stienam ($4.00) to a stretch drive win in 1:53.3. Race number nine he would drive Forty Carrots ($5.40) to victory in deep stretch just nipping Cam's Lucky Man (Andy Gardner) in 1:53.3. His fourth win would come in race 11 with Jojo Jove ($6.70) going gate to wire in (1:52.0). Vernon Downs returns to live action with a 10 race card on Thursday (June 8) at 6:45. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne

Kelly Ford's Something For Doc ($7.60) repelled a stout challenge from even-money favorite All Stienam to capture Sunday (May 8) afternoon's $8,200 top-level harness racing pacing event at Tioga Downs.   Justin Huckabone secured the pocket early with the 8-year-old Western Hanover gelding, brushing with a circuit to go to overtake Golden Gun (Tyler Freese) after a :27.2 initial quarter. After rating a :29.2 second split, Something For Doc was forced to accelerate by the favored All Stienam (Jim Marohn, Jr.), who applied stern first-over pressure on the backstretch. Something For Doc would not be worn down, edging away off the far turn and defeating All Stienam by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:53.1. All Golden Gun just stayed on for third from his loose pocket trip.   Jennifer Lappe trains Something For Doc, now a 22-time winner.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (May 14) evening, with post time slated for 6:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

For a young man in his early teen years who never had any intentions of getting involved in Harness Racing, Justin Huckabone has made great strides a relatively short amount of time. It seemed like only yesterday that the 21 year old won his first Pari - Mutual drive at Vernon Downs with Powerful Love for trainer Scott West. Justin a 3rd generation horseman, the son of Claude Hukabone Jr. and brother of Claude Huckabone II. He is a young man of fierce determination and the shortest distance to his goal is a straight line. Recently during a short hiatus over the past summer, Justin became more determine and focused than ever, making a pledge to himself “That is what I want to do with my life and I am going to do everything that is takes to achieve that goal” said the confidant young Huckabone. After seeing what he has accomplished at Monticello Raceway during the winter meet, he is a man on a mission.  He is so driven that he even asked advice and picked the brain of Hall of Famer John Campbell. Although he learned a lot from his mentor and father, ironically enough when first learning the ropes, his father didn’t put him down on many of his horse’s to drive.  Huckabone noted that “as a green 18 year old, there were not a lot of drives available to me and it was tough” In November of 2015, Justin made the move to Monticello to stake his claim and start paying his dues. I have to give a lot of credit to Vernon James and Misty Carey, who helped me get started at Monticello Raceway, along with Jennifer Lappe", said Huckabone. Currently Justin is ranked 6th for most wins at Monticello with 38, his UDRS is a respectable .206. His aggressive take no prisoners driving style is similar to that of his childhood idols of Walter Case, Jim Morrill Jr. and Ron Pierce. Leading Monticello Raceway driver Bruce Aldrich, offered the following when asked about Justin “He is willing to listen to trainers and is not a know it all, he has a good attitude, and comes from a good family with roots in the business” Fellow driver James DeVaux also has high words of praise for the young Huckabone “he is safe on the racetrack, he has a lot of talent, he could go places with his talents, plus he is a decent trainer as well”   Monticello Raceway Racing Secretary Eric Warner, said” The young man is a real talent, usually this is a hard place to get established as a driver, but he has done just fine.” Aside from being an up and coming talent to the sport, Huckabone is also involved in promoting the sport, “I want this sport to stick around for young guys like me” said Huckabone during a recent chat in the backstretch. Justin sees the big picture, very clearly,  “We need to highlight our star drivers and horses and introduce the sport to the younger generation via social media”, said the enthusiastic Huckabone. Justin represents a cut from the new cloth, from the social media generation, he wants to perpetuate the sport and keep it alive during the span of his livelihood in the game.  Justin has all the attributes to succeed in this sport, with a tireless work ethic, a burning desire reach the winners circle in every race. As the racing season starts to gear up, Huckabone sees himself doing triple duty, driving at Monticello Raceway Monday through Thursday, Vernon Downs on Thursday and Tioga Downs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Shawn Wiles

For a young man in his early teen years who never had any intentions of getting involved in Harness Racing, Justin Huckabone has made great strides a relatively short amount of time. It seemed like only yesterday that the 21 year old won his first Pari – Mutual drive at Vernon Downs with Powerful Love for trainer Scott West.  Justin a 3rd generation horseman, the son of Claude Hukabone Jr. and brother of Claude Huckabone II.  He is a young man of fierce determination and the shortest distance to his goal is a straight line. Recently during a short hiatus over the past summer, Justin became more determine and focused than ever, making a pledge to himself “That is what I want to do with my life and I am going to do everything that is takes to achieve that goal” said the confidant young Huckabone. After seeing what he has accomplished at Monticello Raceway during the winter meet, he is a man on a mission.  He is so driven that he even asked advice and picked the brain of Hall of Famer John Campbell. Although he learned a lot from his mentor and father, ironically enough when first learning the ropes, his father didn’t put him down on many of his horse’s to drive.  Huckabone noted that “as a green 18 year old, there were not a lot of drives available to me and it was tough” In November of 2015, Justin made the move to Monticello to stake his claim and start paying his dues. I have to give a lot of credit to Vernon James and Misty Carey, who helped me get started at Monticello Raceway, along with Jennifer Lappe”, said Huckabone.  Currently Justin is ranked 6th for most wins at Monticello with 38, his UDRS is a respectable .206. His aggressive take no prisoners driving style is similar to that of his childhood idols of Walter Case, Jim Morrill Jr. and Ron Pierce. Leading Monticello Raceway driver Bruce Aldrich, offered the following when asked about Justin “He is willing to listen to trainers and is not a know it all, he has a good attitude, and comes from a good family with roots in the business.” Fellow driver James DeVaux also has high words of praise for the young Huckabone “he is safe on the racetrack, he has a lot of talent, he could go places with his talents, plus he is a decent trainer as well”   Monticello Raceway Racing Secretary Eric Warner, said” The young man is a real talent, usually this is a hard place to get established as a driver, but he has done just fine.” Aside from being an up and coming talent to the sport, Huckabone is also involved in promoting the sport, “I want this sport to stick around for young guys like me” said Huckabone during a recent chat in the backstretch. Justin sees the big picture, very clearly,   “We need to highlight our star drivers and horses and introduce the sport to the younger generation via social media”, said the enthusiastic Huckabone. Justin represents a cut from the new cloth, from the social media generation, he wants to perpetuate the sport and keep it alive during the span of his livelihood in the game.  Justin has all the attributes to succeed in this sport, with a tireless work ethic, a burning desire reach the winners circle in every race. As the racing season starts to gear up, Huckabone sees himself doing triple duty, driving at Monticello Raceway Monday through Thursday, Vernon Downs on Thursday and Tioga Downs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.   by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Seascape Hanover (Camluck-Skateboard) claimed the $8,000 feature race at Vernon Downs on Thursday night to extend her winning streak to three in the month of July.   This win, however, was a move up in company as she scored in an Open I pace and did it impressively, powering away from her competition in the lane to win by six lengths in 1:52. Seascape Hanover (Aaron Byron) took control before the field moved to the first turn and led the way through fractions of 27.2 for the quarter, 55.2 for the half, and 1:23.2 for three quarters.   Artic Byrd (Truman Gale) was second through the early stages before being passed by a first-over Oceans Motion (Brian Connor). However, Oceans Motion stalled in the stretch and Artic Byrd was able to get back into the second spot at the finish. The complete order of finish was: Seascape Hanover, Artic Byrd, Oceans Motion, Upfront Secret, and Always Flash-n.   Seascape Hanover is owned by Tessa Roland of Grinnell, Iowa and Mark Jakubik of West Seneca, New York. The trainer is Mario Dessureault.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Friday night with a 10-race program. The 9th race is the $10,000 featured Open I Trot and the 3-1 morning line favorite is A Penny Earned, who is scheduled to be driven by Justin Huckabone. Post time on Friday night is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs Publicity

VERNON, NY— Gimme The Loot and driver Robert Krivelin gained a victory in the non-betting C.K.G. Billings Series leg for amateur drivers of trotters; JK Panache and The Triple Lindy captured the top pari-mutuel pace and trot, respectively; Gary P. Clark emerged as the track’s leading provisional pilot, while Jimmy Whittemore posted four first-place finishes for the second straight evening during Saturday’s 14-race program at Vernon Downs. Racing for the first time in 2013, Gimme The Loot logged a 1:59.4 triumph in the Billing contest that took place prior to Saturday’s 65th betting card. The spunky 8-year-old gelding raced at or near the lead throughout and closed from second in the stretch to defeat Northmedo Wine Guy, and driver Matt Zuccarello, by three-quarters of a length. Thomas Di Bartolo conditions the career-winner of $190,948 for owner Alessandro Spano. JK Panache, a two-time track record-setter at the Downs this season, powered his way to a 1:51.3 score in Saturday’s $8,000 seventh race, earning his fifth local tally, seventh season’s score and 15th lifetime victory. Whittemore did the teaming for trainer Dave Dewhurst, an owner of the 4-year-old pacing gelding along with Philip K. Hale. The Triple Lindy became a two-time winner at the meet with a 1:54.1 career-best clocking in the $7,000 10th event. Brian Mattison urged the 5-year-old trotting gelding into the lead entering the final quarter, and the brown son of Credit Winner held on to secure his 11th lifetime victory for owner and trainer Paul Kelley and his partners Stephen G. Michaels, Jim Winske and William B. Weaver, III. Part-owner Clark (with Fay E. Clark) steered the 4-year-old pacing mare New York Kitty to a 1:54.1 triumph in Saturday’s $4,000 eighth event that gave the 46-year-old horseman a 3-2 lead over Josh Kinney and Justin Huckabone in this year’s provisional drivers’ derby at the track. Whittemore, a three-time former Vernon dash-winning champion, enjoyed his fifth four-win outing of the track’s 60th anniversary season, while hiking his three night victory total for the weekend to nine. The 29-year-old teamster currently sits third on this season’s race-winning chart with 77 first-place finishes. Leading driver (117 wins) and trainer (46 tallies) Rick Plano won two races during Saturday’s pari-mutuel card, as did Mattison, Kelley and driver/trainer Claude Huckabone, III. DOWNS DOINGS—The Downs will continue its Thursday-Saturday live racing schedule next week, with first post time at 6:45 p.m…A revised 2013 racing and stakes calendar, as well as additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com. Jim Moran

Lulu's Boy paced the fastest mile of the fledgling harness racing season, while provisional driver Justin Huckabone earned his initial pari-mutual victory on Saturday night (April 13) at Vernon Downs.

He might be only 16 but New York High School Student Justin Huckabone has started his lifetime quest to make a name for himself in harness racing. The son of veteran horseman Claude Huckabone, Jr. and brother of driver-trainer Claude Huckabone, III, set out on his career with a second and a third on his very first day at qualifying trials at Vernon Downs last weekend (June 11).

Mata Harry turned an unintended gift from the favorite Highbeta Blue Chip into a 1:51.4 harness racing triumph in Saturday night's $10,000 Open-1 pace at Vernon Downs.

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